Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The History of Reloaded Productions

Before we take you on a journey through the history of our game development studio – Reloaded Productions, we would like to apologize for publishing this blog post a day late. We have been in crunch mode trying to get everything ready for Reloaded Day, especially all of the celebration gifts we mentioned in our previous blog. So without further ado, please join us for a stroll down memory lane …


Back at the end of 2011, we finished up APB Reloaded’s open beta period and went live with the game. It was a pretty eventful time for us, and we’d like to share some stuff about what we’ve done in the last year and what that start-up was like for us.

While the initial development of APB happened in a huge multi-floor building in Dundee, the continued development of APB Reloaded has been taking place in a single floor building located in the bustling city center of Edinburgh. It started as a fairly spacious location, but in the last six months, as we’ve brought on more staff from around the world, we’ve found that it’s actually starting to get a little cramped! The pictures below show what the room looked like before we’d really moved in, and what the same space looks like right now.

You can see our audio, production, design and community departments. Qwentle, Scottomon, Jotunblut, Revoemag and Farfletched all share this area and it’s typically the loudest part of the office. To the right of the picture is where our artists are kept, which probably explains the sheer number of action figures that there are loitering in the area (‘they’re for anatomical research reasons only, honestly’). We keep the programmers in the background of the picture. Aphadon, StuartReloaded, Hezeki and Androvald are just a few of the programmers that we have on site. Over on the right behind the glass wall is the QA area where Funkadefunk, A3 Paper and Digitalbeeps keep an eye on features to make sure everything’s ticking as it should.

The last two years of APB Reloaded’s development could be described as a kind of ‘organized chaos.’ 

We’ve really gotten to grips with a lot of the unusual methods that were employed during APB’s original development. The last eighteen months have been all about us learning the framework of the game so the next year can be all about more fixes, more content and faster development. 
We’ve added a lot of content (six new Contacts, Fight Club, server performance fixes, environment changes, new Weapons, new Mods, new Vehicle Kits, more clothes), all while coming to terms with a huge game and codebase. Now that we’ve had time to get to know the systems that exist in the game , we have some very cool plans for the 2013 that we will tell you all about in our next blog post.

We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved with APB Reloaded. We have to make a lot of difficult decisions every week – which feature gets pushed to the next release, which assets to include in the next update, sugar or no sugar – but we feel strongly that we’ve done the best that we can and we’re in a fantastic position for the road ahead.

We’re really excited about the next twelve months and beyond and hope that you all are too. It’s great to see so many people that are so passionate about the game and it’s always heartening for a developer to have a dedicated and lively fan base. Thanks for reading and remember: tap fire the n-tec for greatest damage!

We asked our developers what their favorite moments of the last twelve months were: 

“I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” – Senior Systems Developer, U.N.C.L.E.
“Killing pumpkins! The squeaky laugh you got every time you killed one was great. The whole Asylum preview was really fun for me.” – QA Tester A3Paper.
“I think the highlight of my year was getting sent muffins in the mail from the SPCT. Muffins and brownies.” ‘So what you’re saying is that free food is the highpoint of your year?’ “Kind of, yeah.” – Androvald and Alistair, Game Programmer and Hosting Programmer respectively. 
“Does the time someone kicked a hole in the wall count? Okay then, how about when we went live on Steam?” – Revoemag.
“Staffing up with people from back in the day.” – Tim, Clothing and Character Artist.
“The CS ticket explaining in great detail what a camel-toe is, and then asking for one for their character.” – M, Head of Intelligence and Office Manager.
“Getting our clothing pipeline actually fixed so we can start turning out more clothing faster.” – SoleSurvivor, Lead Artist.
“Getting visual studio 2012 up and running. Performance boosts all round.” – Aphadon, Game Programmer.
“When the folks at Effigy News sent me a real life Joker box for Christmas. That was pretty much the best.” – Jotunblut, Community Manager.
“I have to say my favorite moment was basically everything that went on in the ‘Monte and Kogey’s Stupid Competition’ thread. There is no prouder moment for a developer than watching folk sacrifice themselves in formation just for the fun of it and because you are an egomaniac with too much time on your hands in the evening, a keyboard, and a varying list of whims with which to formulate your demands. It was fun, and the community availed themselves magnificently.” – MonteCristo.
“Late night totally sober community interaction.” –Qwentle, Lead Designer.
“My favorite moments of the last twelve months are not suitable for public consumption.” – Michael Boniface, Studio Manager.

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